To many people this time of year brings an all-time low. It gets colder and darker and our energy plummets. This is believed to occur because the hormone serotonin decreases when there is less light.
There are plenty of ways how to bring energy and joy back into life as the nights get longer (and actually start creeping into daytime…).
- Enjoy the season; This is a time to go indoors; light candles, buy flowers, make your home cozy; this is your space of retreat. Experience the bliss of sitting in the warmth of your home with lit candles, watching the cold darkness outside.
- Pamper yourself: Take warm baths, create a home-spa; rub, buff, peel and moisturize! Go for a massage.
- Un-clutter: Go through ”all that stuff”; pictures, books, papers, clothes. Use this indoor-time to clear your living-space and allow yourself the joy of uncluttered living. Believe it or not, but this is a great boost for serotonine-levels in the brain. Clutter creates stress.
- Meditation: Take time out each day for yourself, 10 minutes is enough. Light some candles, put on relaxing music, lie or sit comfortably, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Really bring the breath all the way down into your belly. Set a timer so you don’t have to worry about the timing. These minutes will feel longer than they are… Great energizer!
- Get outside EVERY day: Even for only a little while. Your system needs day-light and exercise in order to function. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like. Just get out there and walk or jump around for a while. It will boost your energy-levels and you will feel great! (then you can crawl onto your sofa with a steaming cup of tea and a good book, or movie…BLISS!)
- Herbal teas & natural remedies: St Johns wort, Lemonbalm, lavender… Stay clear of too much stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and sugars.
- Aromatherapy: Of course. Essential oils are a great help to help with emotions and stress. They also work directly with the hormonal system. Use uplifting oils in a burner or on a tissue to inhale. Great scents for winter are: Citrus-oils (orange, mandarin, lemon, grape…), Lavender, Ylang-ylang, Geranium and/or whatever you prefer. Remember; essential oils are strongly concentrated and only a few drops are needed to have an effect.
- Thought-patterns: When you feel yourself thinking negatively, change your thoughts, think of uplifting things.
Remember: This doesn’t just happen by itself. You are responsible for your well-being. No matter how difficult or un-attractive it might seem to exercise, for example. Just do it and you will notice what an incredible change it makes!
In the times when people still lived in harmony with nature and seasonal changes, this was a time for togetherness and preparation for the hectic spring/summer season. Bedtime came earlier because of the dark.When we remember the rhythm of the seasons and allow ourselves to fit into this rhythm, we handle seasonal changes better. Once spring comes again there will be an explosion of action and energy…then we need to be rested.
For ideas on how to use essential oils, see earlier posts under the “aromatherapy” category.
Posted in Aromatherapy, Lifestyle, Personal development, Stress, Wellness
Tagged bath, candles, citrus, clutter, cold, darkness, day-light, energy, exercise, geranium, herbal teas, lavender, lemonbalm, Massage, meditation, positive, seasons, serotonin, St Johns wort, thought-patterns, winter blues, ylang-ylang
This is something that has been popping up a lot lately; for myself, my clients and also as a workshop I am doing with some other people.
So what is motivation? The most basic motivation is survival; we’re all genetically engineered to be motivated for that…and we are prepared to do anything it takes – even if we might not believe that from our comfort zones. But this is “cave-man-level”. What about motivation from a perfectly normal point? How do we find it, and more important; how do we keep it?
Habits are strong powers in our lives; how we eat, exercise (or not), smoking, drinking, sleeping… to change any of this takes a tremendous effort. Our thought-patterns are also part of our make-up but in a much more subtle way. Habit and thought-patterns are the biggest influencing powers when it comes to motivation and follow-through. The more comfortable we are, the harder it is to keep up motivation; but when something happens, such as a disease, suddenly nothing is to difficult to beat it – motivation is up and running 100% = survival motivation.
- Set a goal.
- Set a time-span. With larger goals it is important to break it down into smaller parts to ensure that you succeed by reaching these smaller parts. This spurs you forward to the next part-goal.
- Find your motivation. WHY do you want this? Make this very clear to yourself and write it down so you can see it every day. Make it your mantra.
- Motivation stays 2-7 days maximum, then you have to review it, tweak it, re-kindle it. If not, you will just quit here. This is the toughest part because this is where mind-set or thought-patterns kick in. And if they are negative, motivation is out the window.
- Find somebody to hold you responsible. It is much easier to re-kindle motivation if you have somebody trusted to pep you and push you forward. When you feel motivation flagging, talk to this person.
When you are changing something or trying to reach a goal you need to be very clear and specific about what you want. This needs to be “larger than life” in your mind. Because you always start out enthusiastic and full of self-confidence, making some very powerful “feel-good-hormones” move in your system. But after a few days “normality” leaks in, negative thought-patterns make themselves heard and you feel low. At this point most people quit, this is the difference between winners and losers; winners just keep on working on their goal, no matter how bleak everything might seem, they dredge up their motivation from under the stone where it hid and kicks it into life again. The clearer your picture or idea is, the easier to get back on track and stay there.
There are always solutions.
Here are 2 movies to depict motivation, I find the first one horrible…it’s extreme and might have the total opposite effect – demotivation.The second one many of you have already seen. It is truly about motivation, Nick Vujicic is the man! This, of course, is my point of view, for some video #1 is truly motivating. Whatever makes you tick…
I would love to hear from you on motivation; ideas, experiences – anything – share!